“President-elect Trump’s nomination of ExxonMobil’s CEO for Secretary of State is another sign that he is putting the interests of the oil and gas industry ahead of the interests of the American people.
“The nomination of Rex Tillerson should be a wake-up call to Senators of both parties as they look at the full slate of nominees — including Texas Governor Rick Perry, reportedly the President-elect’s choice for Energy Secretary, who during his career has accepted more than $11 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry; Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), tapped to lead the Department of the Interior, who authored a bill in Congress that would have directed that department to sell off federal lands across the American West; and especially Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, chosen as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who has long been an extreme opponent of the basic American clean air and clean water safeguards that agency is tasked with upholding.
“Where are the voices in this administration to counter the influence of oil executives and allies? Senators have an obligation to ensure a reasonable balance of voices to protect the health of all Americans. That balance is notably absent from the nominees put forward by the President-elect, who as recently as December 11 refused to accept the established science of climate change. He has no mandate to let industry rewrite America’s clean air standards or return to the high-carbon, high-pollution policies of the last century. That is not a course change that Americans support.
“As Republican and Democratic presidents alike have long understood, climate change is a defining foreign policy challenge of our time. Addressing it effectively in concert with countries around the globe will be a central responsibility of the next Secretary of State. If that job goes to the chief executive of the world’s largest shareholder-owned oil-and-gas company, he will need to demonstrate substantially different priorities than those he followed as CEO.”
- Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund
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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.